DoE Urges Safety Measures Amid Bomb Threats in Delhi Schools

DoE Urges Safety Measures Amid Bomb Threats in Delhi Schools

"The officers of the Directorate of Education are doing their best to ensure the effective implementation of guidelines and circulars to deal with any kind of disaster, including such kind of bomb threats," a status report said.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, May 04, 2024, 10:21 AM IST
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Delhi HC | File Photo

The Delhi High Court has been informed that the Directorate of Education (DoE) maintains a strict "zero-tolerance policy" regarding school safety. Officials are diligently working to ensure the guidelines for handling disasters, including bomb threats, are effectively implemented. According to a status report dated April 29, the DoE has issued various directives to schools to enhance safety measures. This includes a circular dated April 16 outlining precautionary measures and the responsibilities of school authorities in responding to bomb threats.

The DoE's stand was filed in response to a petition raising concerns regarding bomb threats in schools.

"The officers of the Directorate of Education are doing their best to ensure the effective implementation of guidelines and circulars to deal with any kind of disaster, including such kind of bomb threats," the status report said.

"However, bomb threat is an issue of law and order and specifically, pertain with the police authority and internal security agencies.... The department has issued a specific circular dated 16.04.2024 on the issue of dealing with bomb threats to schools and issued guidelines on precautionary measures and roles of the school authorities," it added. Petitioner Arpit Bhargava, a lawyer by profession, filed the petition in 2023 in the wake of a hoax bomb threat in DPS, Mathura Road.

Justice Subramonium Prasad on Friday listed the petition for hearing on Monday.

In the status report filed through Delhi government's counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi, the DoE informed that it called an emergent meeting last month to discuss the safety plan for students and staff of schools.

It said several circulars have issued necessary directions with respect to minimum standards of school safety, undertaking safety audits, condemnation of obsolete and junk articles as well as preparedness for potential disasters.

"The DoE has taken into consideration each and every aspect of potential harm that may create any safety issue. After thorough discussions with stakeholders and experts, the DoE has issued guidelines through various circulars catering to all the possible safety issues," the report informed.

"The department is practising a zero-tolerance policy towards the safety issues and has directed all the schools under its jurisdiction to step up the safety and security measures and has issued various circulars dated 20.08.2018, 29.08.2022, 03.11.2023, 16.02.2024, 04.03.2024 with detailed directions to all the stakeholders on the issues of safety and security and standard," it said.

With respect to bomb threats, the DoE said the heads of schools have been directed to make parents aware that no student should make a hoax threat call due to any reason as it may not only affect his studies, but also lead to police action and even suspension or rustication.

It also said the heads of schools have been asked to conduct safety walks and mock drills for a safe evacuation of students and staff on a regular basis. There is also an online module with a link on the DoE website for all schools to fill a monthly report on the issue of safety, the report informed.

The Delhi Police told the court last year that it has prepared an action plan to deal with bomb threat calls in schools as well as the procedure to be followed in case of a "hoax call".

In a status report filed in the matter, it had said "Bomb Disposal Squads" and "Bomb Disposal Teams" deal with such threats and incidents in terms of a standard operating procedure in place

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